Log In

Reset Password

Sharing aroha with Tahiti visitors

A school group from Punavai School in Tahiti delighted the audience with their cultural performance at Ilminster Intermediate School. The repertoire included a song in Maori, written by Te Puea Herangi and taught to them by master navigator Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr when he visited Tahiti.

The group of Year 5 and 6 students have been busy taking part in Tuia 250 activities which included a trip on the steam train, a first for many.

Despite missing their connecting flight in Auckland and having to take the long bus trip instead, the children are making the most of their time here. They have now made their way east where they will plant harakeke (flax) at Hauiti Marae in Tolaga Bay.

Hatea-a-Rangi School in Tokomaru Bay, is hosting the group, and principal Karla Kohatu said they had been preparing for this exchange for a number of years.

“At the time I was teaching at Tolaga Bay Area School and our classes would Facetime one another, learn waiata and share their love for environmental sustainability.

“Now I am teaching at Hatea-a-Rangi School the connection has stretched north.

“This bond is deeper and wider than Tuia, this bond is one of whakapapa, aroha, tumanako and whakapono.”

The group will also take part in a powhiri for the Tuia 250 flotilla arriving at Uawa tomorrow, and visit Tolaga Bay Area School, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Mangatuna and Hatea-a-Rangi School in Tokomaru Bay during their time here.

TAHITIAN CONNECTION: Students from Punavai School gave a cultural performance at Ilminster Intermediate School where they were staying during their time in Gisborne. Pictures by Liam Clayton
Judith Hauata and students from Punavai School wrap Mihi Arihia Chesley in a hand-painted pareu (sarong) featuring an illustration of their school, their area, and a representation of Paikea. This gesture also signifies the beginning of a journey of exchanging taonga, reo, waiata and histories.